Home Africa Egypt welcomes its first Italian-built FREMM frigate Al-Galala

Egypt welcomes its first Italian-built FREMM frigate Al-Galala

ENS Al-Galala (1002) at Alexandria naval base
Photo: Egyptian defense ministry

ENS Al-Galala (1002), the first of two FREMM frigates Egypt bought from Italy earlier this year, arrived at the Alexandria naval base on December 31.

The ship arrived home after being officially handed over to Egypt in a ceremony at the La Spezia port, in Italy, on December 23.

Egypt is buying two ships in the class under a deal that has a reported value of $1.3 billion.

The two Bergamini-class frigates were originally built for the Italian Navy as “general purpose” warships. They were named Spartaco Schergat and Emilio Bianchi. Previous reports said the sale of the two general purpose variants would allow the Italian Navy to potentially buy additional anti-submarine warfare variants of the ships.

It is unclear when Egypt will receive the second unit, which was scheduled for delivery to Italian Navy in March 2020.

Al-Galala arriving in Egypt

It is worth noting that this is not the first FREMM ship the Egyptian Navy is receiving. In 2016, it took delivery of ENS Tahya Misr from French shipbuilder Naval Group who is working Italy’s Fincantieri on the FREMM program. Like Al-Galala, the Tahya Misr was also not built for Egypt, but for the French Navy. The former Normandie was delivered as part of larger French arms exports deal with Egypt, which included Rafale fighters and missiles.

The 144-meter FREMM frigates are armed with two 76/62 mm Super Rapid guns that use the DART guided ammunition for tracking targets, an anti-mine sonar, acoustic decoys for torpedo defense and the MU90 lightweight torpedo launching system. They also have 16-cell vertical launch systems for the launch of Aster 15 and 30 missiles.

In addition to Italy, France and Egypt, FREMM ships are in service with the Moroccan Navy and are currently being built for the US Navy as part of the Constellation-class next-generation frigate program.